The 5 Ways to Prevent the Flu

Flu is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.

The flu can be a serious illness, especially for young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions. In some cases, the flu can lead to hospitalization or even death.

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent the flu. Here are five of the most important:

1. Get a flu vaccine

The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. It is a safe and effective way to help protect you from getting sick or from getting seriously ill if you do get sick.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is especially important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, such as young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

2. Wash your hands often

Washing your hands often with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs, including the flu virus.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially:

  • After using the bathroom
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick

The flu virus can spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

To avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home from work, school, or other activities if you are sick. If you must go out, wear a face mask to help protect others from getting sick.

4. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze

When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow. This will help prevent the spread of germs.

Throw away used tissues immediately.

5. Stay home from work or school if you are sick

If you are sick, stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the flu to others.

Additional tips to help prevent the flu

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage stress.


By following these tips, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.

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